This is the conclusion of Gay Shillaker, Specialist teacher at West Hatch Secondary School in Essex following the pilot of the C-Pen ReaderPenTM with one of her students. The academy currently has over 1,200 students on roll, with 102 on the Special Needs Register, 62 with English as a Second Language and 210 Pupil Premium pupils.
Gay describes how the pen was piloted, “We trialled this pen with one of our Dyslexic Year 7 students. She uses the ReaderPenTM every day across all areas of the curriculum with a number of staff that includes myself on a one to one basis. Staff are fully aware that the student uses the pen and have allowed her to use it as and when required. This is usually when there is continuous text to read and the C-Pen ReaderPenTM gives her the independence so she is not reliant as much on in class support.”
Gay goes onto to add, “The product has been most bene cial in areas of the curriculum that involve large volumes of reading and writing including English, Geography and History. Furthermore the student has found the eDictionary very useful because it reads out the words as well as giving correct spelling and de nition.”
So what does the student, other teachers and the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) think?
Gay explains, “Feedback from teaching staff , SLT and of course the student herself have been very positive.
The main bene ts being improved independence, uency of reading, improved comprehension, enabling her
to understand the text and extending her vocabulary knowledge. This allows support to be redirected, enhancing the values of the school’s ethos to promote independent learning, resourcefulness and resilience in pupils.”
But how did this affect the student’s academic performance?
“Evidence from recent progress checks has shown a marked increase in her National Curriculum (NC) levels and she is currently working above target in English, Maths and Science. As a consequence both her confidence and self-esteem have greatly improved. The student does use the pen at home and the parents are fully supportive. They have been extremely impressed and encouraged by her independence.”
“As she is now able to fully access the text she has the confidence to not only read aloud without the use of the pen but ask questions which she wouldn’t have done before. Her current reading age has now increased from 7 years 7 months in October 2014 to 9 years 2 months as of 17th May 2015.”